Report: Teams showing trade interest in D-backs’ Robbie Ray as a reliever

Aug 24, 2020, 11:33 AM

(AP Photo/Matt York)...

(AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

A few teams have shown trade interest in Arizona Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray, but not as a starting pitcher.

Teams are eyeing the hard-throwing left-hander as a relief pitching option, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Ray, 28, is a pending free agent and has struggled mightily in 2020. He has an 8.33 ERA in six starts and has given up a league-high 25 earned runs in 27 innings pitched. His WHIP is exactly 2, and he’s averaging 8.3 walks per nine innings. He hasn’t pitched more than five innings in a start this year, and he has given up three or fewer runs in starts only twice in six outings.

That said, Ray was an All-Star in 2017 and finished seventh in the NL Cy Young Award voting, and had a 4.17 ERA the last two seasons combined. He’s averaging 94 miles per hour on his fastball this season — up from last year — and could be an option out of the bullpen late in ballgames for teams looking for a hard thrower. In that case, Ray wouldn’t have to turn through the opposing order multiple times.

Also according to Nightengale, the D-backs have “dropped hints” they could go either as a seller or buyer at the deadline, and understandably so. The D-backs “sold” Zack Greinke at the 2019 trade deadline but also acquired 2020 standout Zac Gallen and since-opted-out pitcher Mike Leake. The fact that the D-backs have vacillated between winning and losing baseball this season has only muddied the waters.

Entering Monday, Arizona is coming off being swept by the Giants and have lost five in a row to fall to 13-16 on the season. That came just after winning six in a row and eight of its last 10.

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Report: Teams showing trade interest in D-backs’ Robbie Ray as a reliever